Only a short week after getting back from Australia and reuniting with our home city and our home people, we found ourselves in Ann Arbor reuniting with our Reich dream team, last together at Notre Dame at the end of September. This time the program included Sextet, with Matthew and Lisa joining newly Grammy-awarded Third Coast Percussion in a scintillating rendition.

It was all live-streamed on UMS’s website – check out the screen shots from our fans above. There was also a live interview backstage during intermission, during which I basically walked right through and in front of the cameras (sorry about that dufus move, UMS, and whoever was watching online at the time).

But I’m sure that was quickly forgotten as we embarked on the journey that is Music for 18 Musicians, a piece that is equal parts exhilarating and exhausting, heart-pounding and meditative. It was on the very first program I ever played as a member of Eighth Blackbird, also with Third Coast Percussion, at Millennium Park for an audience of, oh, only about 9,500 people.  It was quite a frightening and very public way for me to start my tenure. And while not Millennium Park, Hill Auditorium is no slouch either. I was shocked when I heard that it seats 3500, because it looks much more intimate from the stage. Willie, the Front-of-House Coordinator, told us that they call it the Big House of the Arts (after the Michigan stadium, of course). And with about 2100 in attendance, it seemed a Big House indeed.


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